Velocity #1

As the winner of the 2007 (really?) "Pilot Season" event from Top Cow, "Velocity" finally gets some more printed pages. I'll admit that I've never given Cyberforce much time and even less of my comic book allowance over the years, so this issue is tabula rasa for me. This is the first step of my run.

This character has a very distinctive appearance -- like a cross between the Joker and Phoenix -- and has always seemed quite garish to me. Green just never seemed right after a lifetime of reading speedsters dressed in scarlet and crimson. Of course, green means go, so maybe I could let that slide and see if the character was as garish as I prejudged her once I sat down for a read.

Rocafort's art is at once Simon Bisley and Marc Silvestri. I presume this is thanks in no small part to the colors of Sunny Gho, but the overall effect makes this book different. The panels aren't set upon the page so much as they are jammed upon the page, the result of haphazard traffic management and kinetic exuberance. The end result is a whole page -- an entire issue -- that tells a story rather than the marching progression from stilted panel one to the next. It's loud, it's garish at points, but it is also memorable and worthy of another look.

My harshest criticism of Rocafort's art is that Velocity's costume is just way too tight. It clings like paint rather than fabric, and more than once throughout the book, the costume seemed to be just a minor detail that threatened to betray the strength of the character wearing it.

What really drew me in to giving this book a chance - aside from the overwhelming lack of material I wanted to pick up this week - was Ron Marz's writing. Women and refrigerators aside, I enjoyed Marz's take on the Green Lantern brand, and remembered Marz as a superhero writer I enjoyed reading. Marz's characterization of Velocity is refreshing. She knows who she is and is confident in her own skin -- which is a whole other story in and of itself - and is not ready to become a victim when she meets the stereotypical, monologue-spewing, moustache-twirling (well, if he had a mustache, he seems like the type of character who would twirl it, Snidely Whiplash-style) villain.

It's a straightforward story that ultimately pits speedster against ticking clock, but it's a refreshing story in that it isn't bound by company-wide crossover. This run is under way, the pacing is set for what looks to be a nice, reinvigorating 5K - not just a run around the block but certainly not an exhausting body-draining marathon. I haven't run in a while, so I'm hoping I don't twist an ankle with this, but from here, all looks well enough ahead. Bring on more "Velocity."

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